Humans and dogs have a lot in common, and in case you’re wondering, yes, pet vaccinations are one of them. Many canine diseases and illnesses are preventable, and pet vaccinations will help you give your pet the protection it needs from harm. The best choice for you would be to follow a vaccination schedule for dogs, which will be recommended by a dog vet that you can trust.
Have a vaccination schedule for dogs
Timing is everything, and that’s precisely what your dog veterinarian knows all too well. It’s always best to have a veterinarian who knows the complete history of your dog to handle the dog vaccine schedule and determine the vaccines that will be most effective for your pet. Usually, the vet will recommend that your pet starts at four to six weeks old, and will continue on until reaching 16 weeks of age. There are also dog vaccines that can be given together, such as the DHLPP vaccine. Other vaccines, like those for rabies and leptospirosis, will need annual boosters during your yearly checkup.
Take your pet health Seriously Some illnesses that can be prevented with dog vaccines
You need to know the importance of dog vaccines, and you can determine that by understanding what diseases dog vaccines aim to prevent.
Rabies. One of the most highly contagious and deadliest diseases associated with dogs is rabies. Dog rabies vaccination can address both diseases to humans and dogs. And while rabies infections are rare in North America, there are still many wild mammals that roam in the wild and can viciously infect your dog. You will therefore still need a dog vaccination when your pet is around three to four months old, with regular annual boosters every so often. Rabies shots for dogs are quite inexpensive, and you shouldn’t have problem with the price of it.
Canine distemper. One of the major diseases that can kill dogs is canine distemper. While it’s no longer as common now, it’s still a problem in many pet stores and rescue shelters, and continues to be a risk. A fatal virus that can harm your dog’s nervous system, canine distemper occurs at an early age among dogs. This can be solved by DHLPP, as the D stands for distemper.
Canine leptospirosis. Caused by a bacterium called spirochete, leptospirosis can affect both humans and dogs. In its full power, it can lead to chronic kidney and liver breakdown, and in some cases even death. This is what the L in the DHLPP means. Once administered, it will require annual boosters, and, in places where the risk is particularly high, six months.
Canine parvovirus. One of the most common and most vicious viruses in the world, canine parvovirus is 80% fatal, and can kill dogs in just a few days. Maternal antibodies present in a young puppy can easily kill the vaccine, so only a vet can determine when is the best time to administer it to your dog.
Canine hepatitis. The H in DHLPP is a blood disease that can will affect the tonsils, larynx, and ultimately, the liver. Once it enters the bloodstream, the symptoms will include a bluish tint in your dog’s eyes, known as “hepatitis blue eye”. It’s a particularly alarming disease, although it’s not transmissible to humans and should not be confused with human hepatitis.
Canine parainfluenza. Transmitted via nasal secretions of other dogs, parainfluenza is an illness that attacks the respiratory tract and can be highly contagious. It leads to persistent coughing, or even bronchitis. While it’s not the most dangerous disease, it can weaken the immune system and lead to other respiratory problems and infections. This is the P in the DHLPP vaccination.
Canine coronavirus. Known to be as dangerous and prevalent as the parvovirus, the coronavirus has a variety of effects, from a really bad flu to a terminal illness. It is often included by some vets in the DHLPP + C dog vaccine.
Tracheobronchitis. Known as kennel cough, this is characterized by harsh coughing in your dog, which often sounds like that in humans. This happens often in kennels, and happens for dogs who are either very young, very old, or has a compromised immune system.
Visiting the vet
Now that you know the different diseases that you need dog vaccinations for, the next step is to visit the vet. You may be tempted to buy one of those do-it-yourself vaccination kits, but there’s a reason why you should hold back: only a regular vet knows exactly what vaccination schedule is best for your dog. Furthermore, there are a number of low cost pet vaccinations that your vet can surely help you with.
With a dog vet, someone can take a full medical history of your dog, along with a full medical exam before the injections. You will also be given recommendations based on your dog’s specific concerns.
Side effects of dog vaccinations
An altogether different debate is whether vaccine are safe. There may be side effects, such as lethargy, joint muscle soreness, and mild fever. However, this shouldn’t be a problem as your dog is still healthy, and can generally go back to his day to day activities like dog collar training after a while.
There’s also a question regarding how safe annual shots are. Some advocates feel that it is no longer necessary and can even cause an allergic reaction, while many veterinarians feel strongly that annual boosters are necessary. Whatever side you choose, one thing’s for sure: there are some dog vaccinations you simply shouldn’t ignore.